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White papers may have silver lining


1st June, 2007

Last week's planning and energy white papers drew scorn from environmentalists for green-lighting out-of-town developments and nuclear power respectively.

Despite these setbacks, consultancy firm Ernst & Young suggest that the government's new prosposals could have a silver lining. A new report released by the company suggests that Britain could become a boom country for renewable energy, thanks to the stream-lining impact of the new proposed legislation.

'The proposed changes to the Renewables Obligation [a trading system for installing clean energy] and reforms to planning should level the playing field for many technologies competing for development capital in the UK,' Jonathan Jones, Ernst & Young's Head of Renewables, told Reuters.

'The challenge now is for industry and the finance providers to make the necessary investment in these new and emerging technologies in order to meet the UK's goals for renewable energy in the future,' he added.

The government's proposed reforms could mean that new technologies, such as off-shore wind farms and tidal generation, are given a higher share of subsidies than established technologies, such as on-shore windfarms.

The UK is now being touted as the second most attractive country in the world for investment in renewables, behind the US but ahead of previous clean energy leaders Germany, Spain and India.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist June 2007


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